New Paris discusses grant

By Kelsey Kimbler -

NEW PARIS — The Village of New Paris is preparing for a revitalization project for East Cherry Street.

Susan Laux of Mote & Associates attended the village council meeting on Monday, June 5, to present updates to the upcoming two-phase project.

Phase I is funded through the Ohio Public Works Commission. Phase II recently went through a public hearing with county commissioners, where officials received approval to submit a pre-application for a Critical Infrastructure Community Development Block Grant.

Laux said she received an email indicating they passed the pre-application process and have been approved to submit an application.

During the commissioners’ meeting, New Paris was advised to change its administrative funds from $3,000 to $20,000. They have to make that adjustment to the budget and cost estimate for the project. The applications are due to the state no later than July 14.

“For an explanation for why this is different than it has been in the past, as you know we didn’t get an allocation of money this year, it switched to the bi-annual thing,” Laux said. “Well, when she got that allocation of money she was also able to take the grant administration money out of that, up to 20 percent. She’s not going to get that this year, next year when they get the money she’ll get twice as much money.

“When we get to next year, she should be able to use that money. That should get you through two years. Obviously, nobody knew this was going to happen until November. We weren’t able to plan budget-wise to make that money last.”

“If we would not be awarded funds, what they would do is they would contact us and allow us to either revise the application and resubmit it for the next round, or they could say that it’s a good application and invite us to resubmit it,” Laux added. “Even if it’s turned down, I think it’s a really good project and we have a good enough chance to get funded, depending on what we’re up against. It doesn’t mean we can’t resubmit it for the next round. Which would probably be in the fall, with funds being awarded after the first of the year.”

New Paris Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors member Dale Hall attended the council meeting to request use of the school building for the Apple Fest and to request an additional spotlight. Council approved the requests.

The Apple Fest will have inflatables again this year, but for the first night the inflatables will be at the school before the football game.

“That gives us a little bit more exposure and maybe word of mouth advertising to support Apple Fest,” Hall said.

There will also be a Battle of the Bands that starts on July 4.

“We appreciate everything the Chamber does for the village, the Apple Fest and everything that goes a long with it,” Mayor Rick VanWinkle said. “We certainly appreciate the hard work and volunteers that go into it.”

For May, the New Paris Police Department had 131 calls for service, 27 reports made, zero arrests, 11 citations written, and 33 warrants issued.

Council also discussed Eric Stevens, who is a part-time police officer in New Paris. On May 17, he was diagnosed with lung cancer. Treatment includes removing half of his left lung. He is also employed as a 9-1-1 dispatcher for the Preble County Sheriff’s Office. Both jobs are part-time with non-paid medical leave during his operation and recovery.

According to Council, there are several other raffles and fundraisers going on in the community to help Stevens.

Reigel Feed and Grain, Inc. is donating a hog and Hunt’s Butcher Shop is donating processing charges. One ticket would be $5, five would be $10. They will draw two winners with each receiving half the hog. Raffle tickets will be sold until the end of June. They are sold at Riegel Feed and Grain, Inc. Updates can be found on their Facebook page. Drawing will take place on July 1.

The next New Paris Village Council meeting will be held on Monday, July 3, at 7 p.m. in the New Paris Village Office.

By Kelsey Kimbler

Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH

Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH